I was going to make the meatloaf today, I said it a few times- but I got home late from work.
However I hadn't eaten all day and I was starving. I needed something quick, and filling. Spaghetti is on the weekly menu. It's fast, east and sounded delicious.
Spaghetti was one of the first things I learned how to make when I was a teenager. The first was a grilled cheese sandwich. Those two things are still some of my favorite things to make and eat.
I admit I use spaghetti sauce from a jar. For a long time I was partial to Prego. Slowly I made the switch to Ragu. I am not sure why. I like them both the same. If one is on sale I will buy the one on sale. If I'm broke I will buy the Hunts spaghetti sauce in a can and add garlic. I add ground beef. My mom usually adds 1/2 pound of sausage to a pound of ground beef. It's pretty tasty that way too.
I once made it from scratch using this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. It was really good- but it still tasted like spaghetti sauce. Nothing spectacular really and it really cost about the same as a jar of spaghetti sauce. If I had grown the vegetables it might have been healthier with less preservatives and such, but the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce did away with that too.
I also make a delicious baked spaghetti if I take the time. I mix the sauce and noodles and put it in a 9x13 pan. I have a stoneware one from Pampered Chef that is perfect for it. Then I mix a can of cream of mushroom soup with just 1/2 can of milk. Pour it over the spaghetti. Then cover it with cheese. I usually use the mix of cheddar and jack cheese because I almost always have that in my house. However it's very good, with mozzarella- but that can be expensive. Cheese is cheese. I give it a good coating of cheese. Then I bake it until the cheese is melted and gooey. About 25 minutes? I don't know- I just keep checking it.
The mushroom soup just makes it creamy and mixes nicely with the cheese. Just only use 1/2 a can otherwise it's a little too soupy and it loses that "casserole" feeling. (This can also happen if you have a lot of "sauce" in your spaghetti, but if you use left over spaghetti it's almost perfect.
My kids love this because it's just cheesy spaghetti and they love everything that is cheesy. They don't realize that the creaminess is the soup, because it mixes so well.
You could probably tailor this to whatever suits your fancy. Spice it up, add a bread crumb topping. Whatever you like It's delicious. If you try it and/ or mix it up, let me know what you did!!